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San Diego's Atkins to be next Assembly speaker

Assembly Democrats have chosen Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego as the next speaker, making it likely that the incoming leaders of both legislative chambers will come from the same half of California for the first time in nearly two decades.

Assembly Speaker John Perez, a Los Angeles Democrat, announced Wednesday that Atkins was selected by the 55-member Democratic caucus.

A vote by the full, 80-member Assembly will take place in early spring. Perez says the Assembly will then set a transition date. He previously said he planned to serve as speaker until after the budget is approved in June.

In the Senate, Democrat Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles is in line to succeed Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento.

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